Memory Lost…And Found!

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You can’t remember faces, names, or places that you’ve known your entire life. It’s scary. But there’s reason to be hopeful, because this may not be permanent. 

Memory loss isn’t always a sign of dementia. Dementia develops when parts of the brain that are involved in learning, memory, decision-making, and language are affected by one or more diseases. But sometimes patients who have memory loss are actually dealing with an underlying disorder that is causing it. As these conditions are treated, a lot of times the memory recovers.

Causes Of Reversible Memory Loss

Each of these disorders can cause memory loss that is reversible when treated:

  • Undiagnosed infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Hormone imbalances, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
  • Drug interactions
  • Poor eating habits
  • Depression
  • Heart or lung disease
  • Injury or disease in the brain
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)

Some life changes, like retirement or grief, also can leave you temporarily confused or forgetful, and might be mistaken for dementia.

Neuropsychologist Fadi Tayim, Ph.D., explains how changes in hormonal balance can negatively affect memory. He adds that the impact on memory can disappear when the balance is restored.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

How To Find Out

Neurologist Mark Friedman, DO, often sees patients with memory loss. A complete medical check-up with lab work and a review of your medical history is important, he says. Neuroimaging of the brain and neuropsychological testing also are needed for a proper diagnosis.

Memory loss isn’t always a sign of dementia.

Recovery Is SlowMemory Lost and Found small

Reversing memory loss is a slow process, not a quick fix. Treatment may include counseling or medication or both. Dr. Friedman emphasizes that ongoing care by a doctor or neurologist is crucial. Frequent follow-up appointments will help to determine if you need more testing, or if your treatments should be adjusted. 

If your memory loss is due to an emotional life change, your memory may return when your emotions stabilize. In this instance, supportive friends and family can help to speed the process, but it still takes time.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.